Scientific American explains how animals--and possibly humans--can become real-life zombies
Zombie Creatures: What Happens When Animals Are Possessed by a Parasitic Puppet Master? [Slide Show]
From fungi to flies, some parasitic species have figured out how to control their host's behavior to get what they need. See what happens when bugs go really bad
A bug expert discusses a sinister virus that causes gypsy moth caterpillars to self-destruct
Scientists have uncovered a surprising clue to the causes of colony collapse disorder
A specialized parasite fungus can control ants' behavior. But that fungus also faces its own deadly, specialized parasites
Ed note: As Halloween rapidly approaches in the US, AiP will be exploring superstitions, beliefs, and the things that go bump in the night. This post originally appeared on AiP on May 17th, 2011, in response to Zombie Awareness Month—oh, it's real all right.
A tropical fungus has adapted to infect ants and force them to chomp, with surprising specificity, into perfectly located leaves before killing them and taking over their bodies
Rodenberg, who blogs about addiction and mental illness for SA, will provide the straight dope on the latest media frenzy over so-called bath salts and people who have been arrested for allegedly eating victims' flesh
Update Sept. 11, 2015: ZomBee Watch, a citizen science project, reported on September 1, 2015 that one of its participants, Joseph Naughton, discovered and captured a honey bee parasitized by the zombie fly Apocephalus borealis on his porch in New York.
“The purpose of man's life...is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.” - Ayn Rand Of all the cryptic, creepy and cruel creatures that emerge each Halloween, few captivate our imaginations like the living dead.
Parasites are perhaps the greatest master manipulators out there in nature. Even though they are tiny, their numbers are mighty and they have a huge impact on individuals and even entire ecosystems.
Some protozoa infect the brain of their host, shaping its behavior in ways most suited to the pathogen, even if it leads to the suicide of the host
She looked perfectly normal. But what was she doing roaming around at night on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif?She’d been drawn out of her home, following the light, and now was taking mincing steps across a white bed sheet.
For Halloween, I thought I'd republish this old post of mine from July 1, 2010. Blame 'Night of the Living Dead' for this, but many people mistakenly think that zombies are nocturnal, going around their business of walking around town with stilted gaits, looking for people whose brains they can eat, only at night.
As it is Halloween, I am republishing my old post (from February 04, 2006, reposted on July 1, 2010): Ampulex compressa I was quite surprised that Carl Zimmer, in research for his book Parasite Rex, did not encounter the fascinating case of the Ampulex compressa (Emerald Cockroach Wasp) and its prey/host the American Cockroach ( Periplaneta americana , see also comments on Aetiology and Ocellated).In 1999, I went to Oxford, UK, to the inaugural Gordon Conference in Neuroethology and one of the many exciting speakers I was looking forward to seeing was Fred Libersat.